FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Kinzer, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War

By: Saturday May 10, 2014 1:59 pm

Stephen Kinzer has many fine qualities as a chronicler of recent U.S. foreign relations: his first-hand experience of diverse regions gained from journalistic assignments around the world, his skill at making the past come alive in vivid, pithy prose, and his readiness to engage with the most challenging contemporary policy issues.

For me, though, his most admirable quality is his readiness to put the stories he tells in long-term historical perspective.

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes, Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 1:59 pm

A worker bee by nature, Melissa Gira Grant is a busy woman. Primarily a freelance journalist covering sex, tech, and politics, in the streets and everywhere else, she came to reporting by way of writing creative nonfiction (for no money), labor organizing (for almost no money), and sex work (to make up for the no money). She writes true stories, mostly about living people, and only incidentally about her own life, although the media loves to construct her biography and make assumptions about her personal life due to her subversive subject matter.

Grant is very direct in her quest to create positive change regarding how sex work is viewed in society and what the work means in general.

Same as It Ever Was: War, Peace, Wall Street, and the Smothers Brothers

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Censored for years, the Smothers Brothers kept on satirizing. In the end their uncompromising political message drove them off the air, with CBS firing the duo and the rest of their comedy ensemble under pressure from the White House. Though the Brothers and the ACLU fought a successful legal battle in response, their careers were effectively over. A documentary, Smothered, tells the whole story — but only clips seem to be available online.

The Society of Money

By: Sunday March 16, 2014 5:45 pm

In the society of money everyone and everything has its price. This “everything” extends to politics. When everything is a commodity, political services are a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.

Study Proves Campaign Donations Can Buy Access

By: Thursday March 13, 2014 4:00 pm

Warning: this may be painfully obvious. Just in case you, for some reason I can’t fathom, had doubts that money buys influence in Washington our friends in the ivory tower decided to perform a scientific experiment to prove it.

FDL Movie Night: “A Very British Witchcraft” & “The Power of the Witch”

By: Monday March 10, 2014 4:59 pm

Witchcraft. Some people believe in it. Some people laugh at it. Some people are afraid of it, even though they claim their various monotheist faiths are stronger. Our first documentary, A Very British Witchcraft, traces the origins of popular witchcraft, aka the Craft or Wicca, from its first codification in the 1940s through to modern day.

Eccentric scholar Gerald Gardner developed a religion based on folklore, folk tradition and Western esoteric traditions, with a healthy bit of Aleister Crowley thrown in. Using the archaeological and information available at the time, Gardner developed Wicca, a term supposedly traceable to the Anglo-Saxon for “wise” and allegedly whence came “witch.”

Arizona’s SB 1062 and The Human Nature of Hate

By: Monday March 3, 2014 6:17 pm

I’ve tried to let the veto of SB 1062 percolate in my mind for a bit and settle on its meaning. Some, like Brian Beutler, have argued that the veto of SB 1062 has ended the use of “religious freedom” as a pretext for anti-gay discrimination. I think the veto is even more significant than that, as it assures the end to formal anti-gay discrimination in the US. To see why, it is important to place the veto not in the context of politics, but in the context of our conflicted human nature.

A Conversation With Scott Crow, Part 3: Intersectionality & Technology

By: Tuesday February 25, 2014 12:15 pm

One important tool which defines modern activism is the use of social media for organizing and building solidarity. While social media does little unless paired with “meatspace” direct action, it can be a powerful tool for motivating people, reporting on live events, and building intersectionality. When arrests first occurred at Occupy Austin, we heard from activists in Egypt who had staged an impromptu protest at the US Embassy.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Larry Getlen, Conversations with Carlin: An In-Depth Discussion with George Carlin about Life, Sex, Death, Drugs, Comedy, Words, and so much more

By: Saturday January 25, 2014 1:59 pm

Author Larry Getlen gives a comprehensive account of a great man and his unique set of values. Conversations with Carlin feels intimate, but is broad in scope and even dense in certain areas. However, Carlin’s relaxed tone and verbal dexterity make reading it seem as if you are having some immortal yet casual exchange with the man himself.

A Walk Across New Hampshire for Aaron

By: Saturday January 11, 2014 4:59 pm

Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, the computer coder and Internet freedom activist, who committed suicide while facing prosecution on federal hacking charges. So, today, in Aaron’s memory and for the causes he believed in, Harvard University Professor Lawrence Lessig is walking across New Hampshire.

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